12 Questions with Marcus West

Sales & Marketing
12 Questions with Marcus West

Marcus West grew up in a family of educators. His mother is a historian and his father a headmaster. He studied English literature and Drama at university and worked in education and the Arts for 10 years, before repurposing these skills into a corporate coaching offering that focuses on Presentation Skills, Media Training, and Storytelling. West realised his clients would improve faster if they dedicated themselves to ongoing microlearning in between coaching sessions, so, he created the 60 Seconds remote coaching app to deliver the perfect environment for people to practise what they say and how they say it.

What are the main responsibilities of your current role? There are three key responsibilities for me, currently. One is to work with clients on the feedback they provide us regarding platform functionality. We like to respond to the ideas put forward and prioritise how we can improve the usefulness of the platform, so that it is tech that people view as intuitive and helpful to them and their growth as a professional. The second is to have lots of meetings with potential clients and explain how we can enhance and systematise their approach to coaching. Thirdly, we have an awesome team of CSPs or Customer Success Partners who work with us – their job is to launch, support, and report on platform activities, so we need to ensure they have reasons to be excited.

What is your background prior to this role and how did it prepare you for the work you do now? I have worked coaching people in presentation skills, storytelling, and media training for the past 30 years. Our app is an adjunct to in-person coaching. It’s the glue between the sessions that delivers continuous, incremental gains in skill. 60 Seconds was made by a coach for coaches to help streamline their coaching operations, allow them to report on analytics and ultimately deliver their clients more measurable improvement.

What motivates you about working in pharma? Helping patients to lead healthier and happier lives. We are a long way from the “pointy end”, but we do believe that helping pharma companies to more clearly state the health benefits of their products will help doctors to treat patients with increased precision.

What is your personal mission statement? What values keep you centred in your work? Mindset, Process, Culture. In terms of mindset, it’s crucial we are aligned on the why of our work – get our head clear and our emotions focused. Then, with process, we agree on what needs to get done and we focus on executing it. These two cornerstones of our work build a culture of contentment and strong engagement over time.

What are your biggest short-term goals for this year and next year? Keep our clients happy and enthusiastic when we work with them. We want to do good work with companies that are engaged and motivated by the idea of creating an environment where people can perform at their best. In order to achieve this, we must continue to refine our model and ensure our tech and our people are firing on all cylinders.

What are your biggest long-term goals for five years or 10 years from now? More of the same really, but on a more ambitious scale. How can we expand from one cluster or region to effective global engagements and be certain that standards remain high? Dealing with technology is a perpetual exercise, so we’ll still be working away at that to ensure our product is intuitive, robust, and best in class.

What are the most important professional skills in your work and how do you hone them? Coaching, product management, and project management. We work with coaches from all around the world who are highly experienced and the best in their field. These coaches are our Customer Success Partners and they bring our client engagements to life. Working on our product in a smooth and efficient way is a constant challenge, but great things take time, so we will stick at it. Last of all, how we work with key stakeholders on a variety of different projects is vital to the success of the project itself and the stickiness of the technology; it is exciting, strategic, and stimulating work.

What excites you most about current industry trends? Most companies we work with genuinely understand the benefits of technology and how it can systematise their coaching processes and ensure they are transparent and measurable. Rather than tech being something that is a nice-to-have, the sharper organisations realise that good tech saves them time and makes them measurably better.

What advice would you give to a young person starting out in your field? Be patient and work hard. If you are going to try and build an app, you need to establish if there is a market for it before you start on development – this means lots of market research. Then, you must find a really good developer, give them some sweat equity, agree to terms, and go to work. Your first few clients need to be ones you can work really closely with. Find a couple of mentors to catch up with occasionally just to bounce ideas around – a problem shared is a problem halved!

Do you have any pets? What are their names and what are they like? A golden Labrador called Moose. We got him about a week before Covid and he really helped during that period. He is awesome company.

What is your all-time favourite book? I used to teach Drama and English for ten years after I left university, so this is a tough question. I have always loved Shakespeare’s musicality and visceral humanity. I also really enjoy frank and fearless journalism, and clever writers like Malcolm Gladwell. His book “The Tipping Point” knocked me for six! Loved it.

What sports do you follow and who do you root for? Rugby Union is a definite favourite and I support the Wallabies which, right now, is a labour of love!

Connect with Marcus West on LinkedIn.

60 Seconds